Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Why Chiropractic Care is Important for Little Ones

I believe it is helpful to a child's proper development to experience chiropractic care in the months following after birth. Newborn health complaints like colic, ear infections, allergic reactions poor appetite and unexplained crying can all be the result of spinal subluxations, which can be fixed with the adjustments of a chiropractor.

Subtle but significant misalignments and nervous system imbalances can occur in the womb or during birth, too.

Inside of the spinal column is the spinal cord, which contains billions of nerve fibers traveling to every part of a child's body, sending messages to the brain; therefore, when the spine is out of order, then the overall health of the child can be compromised, increasing the risk of ear infections, colic, behavioral issues, etc.

It's a good idea to take a child to see the chiropractor right after birth, during milestones like teething, crawling, pulling up, walking, symptoms of illness, or even when attitudes are shifting.

My son's chiropractor, Dr. Becky Kleckner, suggests that parents also practice different exercises at home.

Below, I have shared a few that we have been working on at home with Ezra for a few months.

Exercises to Practice at Home

1). The hand to knee stretch (pictured above). Ever so slowly, stretch your child's arm and opposite leg out long, then slowly bending them towards each other until the hand is touching the knee. This helps to connect a child's left brain to the right.  You can also practice connecting the same side of the brain by stretching and bending the left arm to the left leg, and right arm to the right leg.

2). The core builder. I call this one the "Ab Ripper" because it helps to strengthen E's core. (He'll thank me later when he has a mean six-pack abdomen.) The baby lays on their back as you hold on to their hands and slowly help them sit up, or bring them to their feet, depending on their age.

3). The upside down, "give mom a heart attack" stretch. Last but not least, this one mortified me the first time I saw the chiropractor do it to E. He was only a few weeks old! Start by laying baby on their tummy across your lap. Grab their little ankles securely (as modeled below) and let them hang upside down. You'll be able to watch them adjust themselves and get a nice little stretch. Try this three times a day for five minutes or less. When you're ready, sit down and lay them gently across your lap again on their stomach. 

   Good luck parents!    -Information adapted from Dr. Becky's Innate Healthcare Pamphlet. 

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